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In the state of Washington, a judge can issue a protective restraining order when there is cause to believe that a person suffers from domestic violence. These orders might also be issued in cases that involve risk of any other act that involves violence, force or threats, especially when the person fears death, bodily injury or sexual assault.

There are two types of protective orders. An Ex Parte Order protects a person for up to 14 days or until a hearing on the charge, and a Final Order for Protection lasts up to one year. The final hearing will be 14 days or few from the date that the temporary order was issued.

When the judge approves an order for protection, it does several things for the petitioner. For example, it orders the abuser to stop threatening or harming the petitioner, forbids the abuser from entering the petitioner's residence and assigns custody of children to one parent. The order also defines a visitation schedule, forces the abuser to leave the petitioner's residence if it is shared, allows the abuser to collect essential personal items, provides the petitioner use of a motor vehicle and demands that the abuser to seek counseling.

Any person who is being abused, regardless of whether they live in the same house, can file a petition for protection. In addition, those who are living with in-law family members can file for domestic violence protections. Individuals are also able to file for protection from the parent of his or her child even if that person has never lived with the petitioner.

It may be difficult for a victim of domestic violence to work through the petition process for a protective order. However, a petitioner might work with a lawyer who is familiar with such cases. That lawyer could help a client understand his or her rights, might fill out the necessary paperwork and may submit the petition for consideration